Is the New Cash Back Plus Card From Citizens Bank a Good Deal or Not?

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Is the New Cash Back Plus Card From Citizens Bank a Good Deal or Not?

Million Mile SecretsIs the New Cash Back Plus Card From Citizens Bank a Good Deal or Not?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Via Cardwatcher, there’s a new credit card from Citizens Bank, the Cash Back Plus card.  With this card, you’ll earn up to 1.8% cash back.

Is The New Cash Back Plus Card From Citizens Bank A Good Deal Or Not
There’s a New Cash Back Card in Town

Find out more about this new card and whether or not it’s a good option for you!

What’s the Deal?

Link:   Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus Card

With the Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus Card you can earn up to 1.8% cash back.

Is The New Cash Back Plus Card From Citizens Bank A Good Deal Or Not
How Do You Earn the Full 1.8% Cash Back?

1.5% Cash Back on Just About Everything

You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on purchases.  (Although some transactions aren’t eligible like lottery tickets or gambling charges.)

1.65% Total Cash Back With 1 Purchase Every Month

And you can earn a 10% Purchase Bonus when you make at least 1 purchase each month for 6 consecutive months.  So in the 7th month, you’ll earn a 10% bonus on all the cash you’ve earned back so far.

And you will continue to receive the 10% bonus each month going forward when you make at least 1 purchase.

However, if you do NOT make a purchase for 1 month, you will start over.  So you’ll have to make a purchase once every month for 6 months to get the bonus again.

1.8% Cash Back Total When Depositing Your Reward Into Citizens Bank

You can also earn a 10% Relationship Bonus by depositing your cash back and Purchase Bonus into your Citizens Bank personal checking, savings, or market account.

But you have to live near a Citizens Bank location to sign-up for a Citizens Bank personal account.   So if you don’t live in these in 1 of these East Coast states, you’ll miss out on the 10% Relationship Bonus and can only earn up to 1.65% cash back.

Other perks of the Citizen Bank Cash Back Plus card include:

  • NO limit on cash back
  • NO annual fee
  • NO foreign transaction fees

Emily and I don’t earn a commission on this card, but we always tell you about the best deals!

How Do You Redeem Points for Cash Back?

You redeem the points you earn with the Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus card for direct deposit into your Citizens Bank checking, savings, or money market account.  Or you can use your points for a statement credit.

Is The New Cash Back Plus Card From Citizens Bank A Good Deal Or Not
Deposit Your Cash Back Into Your Citizens Bank Account to Earn the 10% Relationship Bonus

Your redemptions must be in 25-point increments.  Keep your points from expiring by making at least 1 purchase every 12 months.

Should You Sign-Up for This Card?

Unless you live near a Citizens Bank location, this is really a ~1.65% cash back card (after the 1st 6 months) for most folks.

Note:   Even if you don’t plan on using this card regularly, you can still earn the 10% Purchase Bonus easily by buying a 50 cent Amazon gift card each month.

There’s NO annual fee with this card, which can help increase the length of your credit history because you never have to cancel.

This card is similar to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card which also gives you 1.5% cash back and has NO annual fee and NO foreign transaction fees.  However, you get a $150 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months on the Capital One Quicksilver card.

And there are several other NO annual fee cash back cards that earn more than up to 1.8% such as:

  • AMEX Fidelity2% cash back when you deposit it into your Fidelity account, but charges a 1% foreign transaction fee
  • Citi Double Cash – 1% cash back on purchases and 1% back when you pay your bill
  • Discover it® Miles – You get 1.5% back on purchases, then your bonus is matched at the end of your first card year

But I prefer to earn miles and points to use with airlines and hotels for BIG Travel!  So I’d rather sign-up for the Chase Freedom card to earn the sign-up bonus and 5X points (on up to $1,500 in spending) in rotating categories each quarter.

I could use the 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 for 5% cash back.  But because I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I get more value from those points by transferring to partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.

Also, I usually save applications for cards with sign-up bonuses such as when I applied for the AMEX SimplyCash card which earns:

  • 5% cash back at US office supply stores and US cell phone service
  • 3% cash back on 1 of 7 categories such as airfare or hotels

Bottom Line

There’s a new cash back card, Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus.  This card has NO annual fee and NO foreign transaction fee.  And you can earn up to 1.8% cash back on all purchases.

But you have to live where there are Citizens Bank branches to open a bank account to earn the 10% Relationship Bonus.  So for most folks this is a ~1.65% cash back card (after the 1st 6 months).

Emily and I don’t earn a commission for this card, but we always tell you about the best deals!

Although, I think there are better cash back cards that earn more such as AMEX Fidelity, Citi Double Cash, and Discover it® Miles.

I prefer to use my Chase Freedom card for rotating 5X category bonuses because I use the Chase Ultimate Rewards points (when I transfer to my Chase Sapphire Preferred card) for Big Travel with partner airlines and hotels.

I don’t like that the Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus card has no sign-up bonus.  So some folks may do better applying for a cash back card with a sign-up bonus such as AMEX SimplyCash.

What do you think about the new Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus card?

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

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One other option I’m particularly fond of lately: The BankAmericard Travel Rewards Visa with Platinum Honors status (with Bank of America) will earn you 2.625% toward travel on all spending with no limits I’m aware of.

Also, that card is fairly unique in that it has no foreign transaction fee, chip, and no annual fee. Most cards with no foreign transaction fee and a chip do have at least an annual fee starting in the 2nd year.

I don’t know if Citizens Bank still lets you pay your car payments with a credit card, but they let me do it 4 years ago. I bought a used SUV from a dealership 4 years ago and the dealer made me finance the vehicle with a 5 year term in order for me to get the negotiated price of $15K. I was willing to pay cash for the SUV, but was not allowed to do so because the dealer received a loan origination fee from Citizens Bank that must have been pretty substantial, which resulted in a lower negotiated sale price for me.

I did the math and there was no prepayment penalty as long as I held the loan for at least 6 months. So I received my payment coupon book in the mail along with other information such as online payment options. I went online and was delightfully surprised that I could make payments online with a credit card with NO fees. And that is how my credit card churning hobby began. Every month I signed up for a new credit card, made a $2.5K vehicle payment to Citizens Bank, and of course payed the credit card in full when the statement came.

So in the end I raked in a ton of credit card signup points, paid for my vehicle in 6 months, and paid very little interest to Citizens Bank. I am sure Citizens Bank lost money on my loan, as they paid a substantial loan origination fee to the dealership, paid the credit card transaction fees, and received very little interest from me. Do I feel bad? Not really. They are a big bank, and I played by the rules that they set. Had I been the normal, less savvy, consumer, they would have raked in a fortune in interest charges over the term of 5 years, which is what they were counting on.

The Platinum version offers 10% cash back on gas on the first $1,000 in purchases, then 5% unlimited for the first 3 months. And 5% cash back on groceries and drug stores for the first 3 months…

(Oh, and thanks for the info on the card and giving me a chance to rant.)

I got to “you will start over” and that’s all I needed to read.

IMHO, Citizens Bank is garbage. Years ago, they started charging me for them to hold my money. Yeah, service charges on my personal and business checking due to lower-than-what-they-consider-reasonable monthly balances. TD Bank started doing the same and I dumped them too. I remember when I was a kid and had a Christmas club savings account and actually earned a small amount of interest on even that.

Finally learned my lesson and became a credit union member. Banks used to be your friend no matter what your financial status, but no more. Won’t give them my business when they won’t give me even a basic personal checking account for free without having to subscribe to minimum deposits, bill pay, automatic deposit or whatever.